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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Creative Lays Golden Zii Egg



Creative Lays Golden Zii Egg
Its subsidiary has launched Zii Egg, a new cell phone which manufacturers can rebrand and develop. GRACE CHNG reports

AFTER months of financial losses and staff cuts, a ray of light has emerged from home-grown tech company, Creative Technology.

Its fully owned subsidiary ZiiLabs unveiled the Zii Egg cellphone sporting a multi-touch screen, high-definition 1,080p video playback and dual camera cellphone.
With a 3.S-inch screen, its features include GPS (global positioning system), Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and high-performance graphics.

Providing clear surround sound is Creative's own X-Fi sound chip. It also' includes the Opera browser for Web surfing.

The Zii Egg also comes with an internal memory of 32GB which can hold up to 100 digital movies or 30 DVD quality movies or 10 lID movies. If this is not sufficient, a high-capacity card slot offers external storage of another 32GB.

The Zii Egg fits snugly in your palm - at 108g, it is lighter than a pear - and runs on either its own operating system called Plaszma or on the Android, Google's cellphone operating system.

In a demonstration held at Creative's headquarters in Jurong two we&ks ago, the
high-definition playback - hooking up the Zii Egg to an lIDTV - was awesome.

Details of shadows created by the trees and grass were sharp and brilliant. Sound was clear while the graphics were able to capture the complex textures and shades of
anunated animals.

Consumers, however, will not be able to buy the Zii Egg as ZiiLabs has no plans to sell it on the retail market.

Instead, manufacturers who want to re-brand the Zii Egg can buy each unit for US$199 (S$288). Or they can use the Zii Egg as a building block to add more features to make their own multi-media devices.

Engadget, an influential tech blog in the United States, has given the Zii Egg the thumbs up. It likes the high-definition camera on the back of the phone and Creative's strategy of making the Zii an open standards platform on which other developers can create new applications.

But it warned Creative that its lead will last only until Apple adds a camera to its iPod touch, proDably in September.

However, it is not Creative's strategy to use the Zii technology for only cellphones.
ZiiLabs president Hock Leow said discussions have started with some retailers who want to make use of the Zii technology for Wi-Fi enabled digital signboards.

He also added that the Zii Egg is market-ready for a manufacturer to add a few new applications, re-brand it and quickly hit the stores with it.

Many of these manufacturers are in China and 100k:i.n2 for the right opportunity to casE. in. He gave an example of a Chinese company that saw an opportunity to sell cellphones to farmers.

"When the farmers are out tilling the land or planting seeds, they can't use theIr hands to hold the cellphones," said Hock.

"This company came up with a cellphone that has six speakers. The cellphones are placed on the ground or somewhere nearby where the farmers can hear when they ring. The speakers let them hear and carry out a conversation without having to hold the phone while working. "

Other products ZiiLabs highlighted include pocket-sized' high-definition photo, movie and video conferencing device, virtual piano or using the technology's text-to-speech feature to convert textbool{s to audiobooks to help the visually impaired to learn.

Powering the Zii Egg is the ZMS-OS chip that ori~ated from 3D Labs wmch Creative bought in 2002. 3D Labs made high-end graphics chips that powered workstations used by rocket scientists but it was a capital intensive industry with a small market.

Creative decided to develop the high-end graphics technology for the mass market.

Seven years and US$l billion investment later, the company unveiled the ZMS-OS processor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January this year.

Said Hock: "There are consumer electronics companies which don't have our research and development capability. Now they can make a new product using the Zii technology by adding, for example, a better user interface, new applications and a new packaging. "

Speaking from ZiiLabs headquarters in London, where he is based, Hock said that ZiiLabs has completed various compliance tests so that its customers do not have to do them.

These tests are required by the Federal Communications Commission, the American regulatory body which regulates communications services in the United States, or by Microsoft to ensure that the Zii can run on its software or hardware.

For manufacturers who want to develop applications for the Zii platform, which is called Plaszma, they will have to buy a software development kit for US$399.

via Digital life

3 comments:

Omar Ceja said...

The Zii EGG is NOT a phone, why are people still confusing it with one. Specially, when coming from a Creative fan site, one would assume they are a bit more informed. Unless of course it in fact is a phone but not even ZiiLabs says so on their webpage.

Jimmyboy88 said...

yes, the zii egg is not a phone but the zii zms-05 chip that it is running on, has phone function. there is potential for it to be a phone since its already using android platform too.

Varuna Singh said...

also This article is via Digital Life. Doesn't reflect out ideas completely. Different views to the Zii scenareo.

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